tv customer service examples

Examples of Customer Service, As Shown on TV

Assisting your customers before, during or after the purchase process is known as customer service. It is one of the main ways for a business to grow and retain its customers.

That’s why as of late, most companies started focusing on CS and directed their efforts towards providing enjoyable and memorable customer experiences.

While there are thousands of quality books — and Qminder blog posts — one can read to improve the quality of customer service, let us not neglect the TV!

In fact, there are several scenes from movies and TV shows that can teach us some valuable lessons about customer service.

Following the Rules Strictly

Following the rules is one of the most important aspects of the company. It shapes the culture of the organization, creates a discipline and shows a positive image to the customers.

However, as the saying goes, “There is an exception to every rule”. Sometimes, following the rules blindly and strictly can lead to bad results. In the context of customer service, the result is a dissatisfied and frustrated customer.

Speaking of which, here are two perfect examples.

Meet the Parents

In this scene from Meet the Parents, a lovable goof Greg Focker, played by Ben Stiller, is frustrated because he’s had a bad day, and it is about to get even worse.

When the plane boarding is announced, Greg is being rejected due to the fact that his row has not been called yet. Fair enough, but bare in mind that the whole terminal is empty and there is no one else present.

Falling Down

In this movie, the ambitions of Michael Douglas are quite mundane: he just wants to have a breakfast. However, it’s already 11:33, and the restaurant stops serving breakfasts at 11:30.

After having his breakfast-having dreams crushed, Michael asks the manager: “Rick, have you ever heard the expression — the customer is always right?” and gets answered with “That’s not our policy”.

Sure, the manager could have shown more flexibility. But the idea here is that “The customer is always right” is a faulty principle that only leads to over-privileged customers.

A Lesson to Be Learned

As mentioned in the beginning, rules are to be followed but in some circumstances making an exceptions can make you better off.

In these two situations, if both of the customer service representatives would make an exception, the clients would be happier or at least less annoyed.

If the rules were bent in the above examples, there would be no consequences. On the other hand, a slight compromise would make a pleasant experience for the customer and a feeling of appreciation.

Lack of Empathy

Understanding the customers, sharing and identifying with their feelings is called empathy. Businesses that show empathy and put themselves in the shoes of the customer increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.

If you want your business to be more empathetic, take a look at our customer empathy map blueprint!

And now it is time to see how lack of empathy contributes to making customers angry and losing them for a potential competitor.

Little Britain USA

In the first episode, a receptionist named Carol has to check in a young girl for a small surgery. From the very beginning, one can notice the lack of empathy of Carol. Even though the customers are being polite and nice to her, Carol keeps being rude.

The little girl is probably nervous due to the surgery and instead of being nice and empathetic Carol is being offensive, unhelpful and annoyed.

The Family Guy

The 16th episode of The Family Guy’s 15th season is a perfect example of a lack of empathy (and also an example of a TV series running for way too long). Peter, working at a food truck, is being obnoxious, cold-hearted and unsympathetic to his paying customers.

Peter’s cold demeanor doesn’t change even when a customer gets hurt after hitting a roof with his head (though, to be fair, Peter half-heartedly warns him about the roof). Basically, Peter’s food truck venture is the perfect microcosm of what not to do when serving customers.


In the episode The Alternate Side, Jerry makes a reservation at a car rental. However, when he arrives at the place, the customer service agent informs him that the car is not available.

The situation is frustrating indeed. Despite Jerry’s reservation, the rental ran out of that specific car. Moreover, instead of being apologetic and empathetic, what does the agent do? She acts passive-aggressively towards the customer.

Lesson to Be Learned

The takeaway from these videos is to always put yourself in the shoe of a customer. Your clients are the main reason for your company’s existence, therefore doing your best to satisfy them is the only way to go.

The above scenarios are funny because probably we have also been in such situations and understand the difficulty of it.

Differentiate yourself by providing the best experience for your customer. Be empathetic with them and always act in their best interest.

Not Reading the Customer

One of the useful skills of a customer service agent is providing a personalized service. While some might appreciate your attention and assistance, some might find it disturbing and prefer searching solo.

Overperforming can also be a part of it. This might come off as a surprise since the previous videos were about underperformance and lack of dedication.

We have also been stressing about going the extra mile for the customer, however, the quote “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” exists for a reason.

Love Actually

This video shows pretty much the same problem: the customer wants the product quickly but the seller has different plans.

Regardless of continuous requests to finish the wrapping process, the sales representative ignores it and keeps adding fancy decorations which prolong the buying time.

Even though such actions are perfect to improve the customer experience, sometimes customers might not appreciate it and find it annoying (which was the case in this situation).

Lesson to Be Learned

Understand the priorities of your customer. A well-trained customer service representative must identify what kind of service a customer is really looking for and adjust accordingly.

But providing personalized service is not an easy task and can’t always be easy to identify just by looking at a customer.

For this, utilizing innovative tools like Qminder can be of help. Qminder provides businesses with the necessary information and statistics regarding their customers to really understand what preferences and wants they have.

If you want answers to the questions such as:

  • What products do my customers enjoy the most?
  • On which day during the week do customers visit me the most?
  • How satisfied are customers with provided services?

then you should give Qminder’s free 14-day trial a try.

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